Here’s another installment in a series of emails that took place between Michael and one of his senior students beginning the Summer of 2009. May you find the exchange interesting and enriching.
March 10, 2011
Student: If we are always already love, why does a felt sense of it follow on the heels of understanding?
Michael: Are you sure youre not just feeling relief?
Student: Maybe, but I keep running into this experience as the teaching unfolds into lots of a-ha moments. Ill suddenly realize something that either you or another teacher has been saying for so long but it finally makes sense. And then theres this amazing feeling, like my heart is going to explode. But then I know that I am supposed to recognize this in an uninterrupted way. Clearly, if Im getting it in bursts, its getting interrupted.
Michael: First off, I think its great that youre feeling something evolve through you like this. So keep doing what youre doing and be aware of getting caught by what you think is supposed to happen. Id also point out that the love that you are is only perceived to be interrupted. Its continual and never changes. It has never moved and never will. Our interpretations of it may go all over the map, but love never moves.
Student: Its stillness?
Michael: Yes, it is. Put another way, its our felt sense of stillness.
Student: So what keeps the experience of love from showing up all the time?
Michael: Compartmentalizing. Categorizing. Analyzing. Identification. These and other aspects of thinking create the staccato sense of what youre talking about. With this said, its important to recognize that thinking is not bad. but as long as were busy letting the mind govern our experience, we leave no room for stillness to show itself as love.
Student: So understanding can get in the way of love.
Michael: Clinging to understanding, or clinging to the need to understand can obstruct the experience of love. But, if we have the courage to let go of our need to understand, there is the potential for a gap to open up in our thought stream. Through this gap, love is revealed as an infinite supply of the felt sense of deep peace.